Good evening. I now understand and I agree with Joe and this is done technique on a magazine of eastern New England on this evening's program we range from a proposed constitutional amendment banning abortion to the restoration of Landmark churches to the banquette of music on the.
Hand. All this plus Louis lives has commentary on a recent Supreme Court actions.
The abortion fight is on again and Right to Life groups continuing their push for a constitutional amendment banning abortion and frustrated in their attempts to persuade the National Congress to pass the amendment trying out a new strategy. A call for a constitutional convention.
Any sense is the story.
Seven states out of the required 34 have already approved legislation calling for a constitutional convention to ban abortion and similar legislation has been proposed in more than a dozen others on Monday and Tuesday it was Massachusetts turn as the state judiciary committee sat down to listen to the arguments of right to lifers. Legal scholars and women's rights activists on the question of a constitutional convention. Women's groups while stating their continued support for the abortion law as it stands seem to be principally concerned with the complicated legal questions of a constitutional convention and the history of the United States there has never yet been a constitutional convention proposed constitutional amendments have always gone through the U.S. Congress and so no one has ever set up the exact rules and regulations which would govern a convention. Jim Hamilton of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union. One vote as things stand now.
Delegates to a constitutional convention could rewrite any part of the Constitution they pleased calling a constitutional convention well which as I say is a permissible alternative carries risks with it. For example the possibility that. The entire Constitution would be up for review before the convention. While many of the delegates to the convention might have assumed they were going for the purpose of a single amendment they would suddenly find themselves faced with dealing with the entire Constitution. Those of us concerned about civil liberties of course would. Fear for the welfare of the Bill of Rights. Well that seems.
The Seems to me to be a little bit alarmist to say well they're just going to rewrite the constitution.
As you may know there have been a number of surveys taken over the last five to 10 years. In which people have been asked questions which contained within. The questions and the answers. The substance of various parts of the Bill of Rights. And it turned out that. A majority or in some cases close to a majority of the American people did not at this time support the basic principles of the Bill of Rights.
Jim Hamilton of the Massachusetts Civil Liberties Union backing up Hamilton was lawyer Neil Cheyanne.
I'm very concerned about how. People today feel about the First Amendment in particular on the 14th Amendment that we might not be opening. A situation to complete Amendment of the Constitution. There are also many groups around. That have. Something wrong when they feel that with the Constitution I'm afraid that all of these groups might coalesce on the subject of opening the Constitution for amendment and I think that would not be in the best interests of all of us live in this country. For instance what groups. Well it seems to me the only time that this alternative method ever. Almost worked was in the question of apportionment and the vote. There were 35 states that actually sent a request to Congress to convene the convention so there was one clear group that has an enormous interest in opening the Constitution. The school prayer the school busing the there are the gun lobby and the anti-gun lobby. In other words you can take the amendment one by one and find large segments of people who are opposed to it. Functioning of those amendments you get a coalescence of these people. I think you would be in serious difficulty.
Attorney Neil Shah it right to lifers speaking at the Judiciary Committee's hearing did not address the legal questions of a constitutional convention preferring to continue on the theme of the rights of the unborn. There is in fact a split among Right to Life groups nationally over the constitutional convention strategy. The National Right to Life Committee for instance has refused to endorse the convention approach and have announced that they will continue their traditional strategy of lobbying the U.S. Congress. Nevertheless women's groups in Boston are treating the convention proposal as a real threat to the present abortion law.
Lynne Knox of Planned Parenthood in Massachusetts has been targeted by the proponents of a constitutional convention is one of their prime states if they want to get this year and so it would be a major setback for those forces if we are successful in keeping it from passing. We. Don't want to have one more state pass resolution.
Lynn Knox of Planned Parenthood there is no word yet on when the state judiciary committee will decide its position on the convention issue. People questioned at the hearing told me that no matter what the committee decides there will almost certainly be a fight on the floors of both the Massachusetts House and the Senate for Pan Technicolor. Amy sands.
And Bayer is an architect who specializes in the restoration preservation. And so to speak recycling of churches. In today's mobile urban society the make up of communities up and changes rather drastically and churches are frequently left behind when the congregations as Bay suggested landmark churches have valued not only to the congregation but to the community as well.
She talked with correspondent Henrietta Davis.
What was the church you first got involved with.
Well it's a church I'm still working on it's the First Baptist Church of Cambridge and it's located in Central Square in Cambridge. It's 19th century church built in 1881 and almost two and a half years ago they called me and asked me if I would come down and look at their doors because they felt the reason that they had such a declining congregation was that their doors which are rather heavy designed and painted dark brown were scaring people away and they were thinking about putting in doors. And when I went down and found there was a congregation that really needed to make a lot of decisions about their whole physical plant. And that was kind of confused about where to turn their what they consider to be white elephant. And I considered it to be a major city landmark. And eventually they did too. So still with them we're doing a preservation program there and we've also recycled the building for a variety of community uses and those community uses pay for much of the preservation effort. So it's been kind of a package deal of working on the fabric of the building pulling out into shape and also working on The Spirit of the building and the function of the building and getting that going in a new way.
How large a congregation was it.
Well the church once had about a thousand members. It was really a thriving congregation and they do occupy that site since the late 18th century and now they have about 75 members. They were very confused about what to do with the building when they had had a thousand members at one time and now had 700 members. So they wanted to think about whether or not they should be selling it whether or not they should be moving to a small house in the neighborhood. And what they should be doing with a very costly structure what happened to the thousand people.
How did that go from a thousand to 75 and how long did that take.
Well that took a number of years but I think it's typical of many churches that face this kind of problem that you find at the root causes neighborhood Mark Gration and changes of communities and many neighborhoods that I know of and I'm sure that you know of are full of different kinds of groups of people now than the ones we're occupying it. And with that you can find enormous changes in chips in religious preference.
What are some of the other churches in the New England area that you know of.
Well right now I'm also working on a church in Brooklyn doing a study for the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the city Conservation League in Boston and it's called St. Mark's Church. It is the result of a merger and it stands empty as a very interesting late 19th century church in a neighborhood in central Brooklyn and there we're looking at a variety of new uses for the building and whether or not there's a potential for sale and some kind of recycling program there as opposed to a demolition which is what is so often chosen for Landmark churches. But other churches in New England that are facing this and have dealt with it are really varied. In the rural areas there are a number of churches that have been turned into homes. I've seen several of those in Connecticut where they've become just beautiful in the south end of Boston there's someone who's just completing now a housing project for a church. And he's built apartments into the building and I guess that's going to do it on a rental basis. But that all points to a kind of. Well really more extreme solutions for churches and what I've found is that many congregations don't want to just pose if they're building they're just confused about what to do with it. And that makes it very difficult because they never really got together in the first place to manage a physical plant or to be real estate dealers. They got together for a lot of other reasons that have to do with the real purposes of churches and many of them are now bogged down in the bread tape in the confusion of managing landmark structures that are very costly to run and they need a lot of professional advice about how to go about recycling renewing and just living through different kinds of building crises.
I want to ask you what you saw as the significance of the church architecture in what way is it a landmark How is it important for the community.
Well first there's the spiritual importance to the people who are actively connected with the church and the kind of activities that they plan there have a tremendous meaning and heritage usually in there in the community. Beyond that there is an incredible architectural significance to most of our churches and they do stand as a very specific building type. They're recognizable. They have meaning for community. They point to a kind of focus for community and civic activities. And over time churches have been considered very important in other countries. We are still relatively young in our appreciation for landmarks but where they have 16th and 17th century churches that are just a dime a dozen and some countries you can find that churches are used for so many different things and over the years they have assumed a kind of meaning for communities that goes beyond what their spiritual significance is for the congregation. Churches were always meant to have a very highly visible image in a community and so when we get away from the city and we look we see the church spars and the skyscrapers and I think they give a sense of identity to a city they punctuate neighborhoods they tend to draw to a significant large scale building and they have in each of us I think a special meaning.
I think we all create the meaning of churches for us inside ourselves I don't think it means the same thing to everyone. But it's unusual it's a focal point and it's often a very fine example of an architectural style that is often not representative in the community.
OK this is Henrietta Davis.
Henrietta was talking with architect and they are on a somewhat unusual subject of church restoration.
Frank Adams a collie is a chain bookstore of 17 players a group which has established a name for itself here in New England the other day to a cavernous spoke with its director Martin Perlman in our studio as a guest for Ben technic on is Martin Perlman who is director of an organization called Band get homesick Ali which has been in existence how long this is the fourth season fourth season I lose count right as so many organisations are on the right hand. You generally appear in concert in pain hall at Harvard don't you.
This is the first year we've done that. This series is there. Previously we've been playing in a church. Oh I see. And we outgrew that and I were in a small concert hall.
Well tell us about the organization. What's its purpose and so forth.
Well bunk at them was a colony is a chamber orchestra of made entirely of baroque instruments and the idea is to play orchestral music and also chamber music on original instruments. Now we've expanded also to the classical period since many of the instruments are the same and we have we have quite a few instruments to cover that period as well.
Do you have actual originals or are these copies some of each.
Some of them are some of them are actually from the Baroque period we have some that have not been altered in fact and some have been restored original old instruments have been restored to their original condition and some are copies.
Describe a typical program would you want to live there. Better better than that. Tell us about the concert that comes up this coming Friday. Good Friday the 8th of April at 8:30 PM in pain hall in Harvard. Tell us what's on that program and then tell us how to get there because right some of our listeners who have not been to Plano right or right.
OK well this program is the entire group playing. We have play chamber music also this year. This is everybody this that includes 17 players playing on original instruments the first half of the program is French music extracted from operas by Louis and a suite by Ron No. From Ramos is from this opera plot. And the second half of the program is early classical music it's a J.S. Bach symphony and a Mozart concerto which I'm playing on a copy of a Mozart trade Cano fortepiano.
Right not piano forte. Well you know what I see. Yeah yeah. But they did ordinarily go to for the piano. Yeah that's sort of the way I did it right.
And it's each half has the music the music and each half is pretty closely related. J.S. Bach was a great influence on Mozart s so there are two groups of composers on this program.
In each one highly influential on the other. Right exactly.
Because because John Bach was one of Mozart's earliest teachers was you know well he was Mozart knew him and was very influenced by Mozart met him when he was nine years old and it seems that during that tour of England when he met him he actually heard the premier of this particular Symphony and he modeled one of his very very earliest symphonies on this piece.
So there's a very close connection between Mozart in this actual piece that's really terrific. Here's a program from. That's February 25th. That's the second one this is passed by worries this this series right.
I think it's fascinating is work of music of any person to the mind of Mama Hey that's a composer We don't often hear much about. You usually don't have three contests together who can play a piece like that as well like I was just I was just going to say sweet reviles and continual that's a little on the rare side you know. And Romo I think this is a perfectly marvelous idea you have.
Patrons and sponsors as well as friends and we are partly supported by the nice council on the arts also.
Information about these cancers and about the organization itself can be obtained by calling. And get your handy pad and pencil it is always kept next to your radio because you know you're going to want to write things down by calling 6 6 1 3 9 5 8 is that correct right. 6 6 1 3 9 5 8. That's the bunch get on was a Cali concert this Friday the 8th of April 1977 at 8:30 p.m.. Being yelled in pain hall hybrid Martin tell us how to get I think Paul is very close to Sanders Theatre.
It's a one as knows where the traffic underpasses near Sanders. Yes right next to it is that Big Science Center and pain all is right behind the science center.
And that should be very easy to find it's the Harvard music building. I guessed where this Pentagon program has been. Martin Feldman who is director of the bank at home was a colleague and we certainly do thank you for coming in. Thank you.
And now to complete tonight's pantechnicon Lyons is here and he has commentary on the recent Supreme Court action.
The Supreme Court has dissolved a couple of illusions about the law this week. Most of us grew up under the notion that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. That would be double jeopardy which the constitution forbids. But this may not necessarily be so. Cases turn up variations on the rule and judges opinions on them differ. The Supreme Court this week buttoned up the double jeopardy rule tighter but the chief justice thought they were wrong and dissented because the last time it came up the court ruled the other way he said. This week seven to one decision was on a case from Texas where the jury was deadlocked. The judge then issued an acquittal. The government moved to appeal but the Supreme Court has blocked the appeal for the court Justice Brennan said. Perhaps the most fundamental rule in the history of double jeopardy jurisprudence is that a verdict of acquittal cannot be reviewed on appeal without putting a defendant twice in jeopardy thereby violating the Constitution. But Chief Justice Berger objected that this contradicted the decision the court made just last year in a case that Berger said cannot be distinguished from the current one. That case United States versus Sanford also ended in a hung jury. The trial judge declared a mistrial. Some months later as a retrial was under preparation. The trial judge dismissed the indictment in that case the Supreme Court allowed a retrial to the chief justice claimed that the cases were the same. The majority of justices held that the trial judge's action in the Sanford case was rather to be viewed as a pretrial order. Ferguson last word was that the court is creating uncertainty about the law. But the others assert that tightening the rule to make it more certain. In another disputatious area the court upheld an exception to the traditional rule of law that relations between doctor and patient are confidential. That case was in California which is an act of the law that a psychiatrist may be required to testify as to the mental condition of a patient if the patient has made that an issue in a trial. Well this patient made a claim as to her emotional state in suing for damages from an automobile accident. Her psychiatrist was called to testify as to her emotional condition. She objected to his testifying. He refused to answer questions about her and was cited for contempt of federal court upheld the contempt under the California law. Several medical associations joined in the appeal to the Supreme Court to review the case but unanimously the justices have declined review of sustaining the lower court the contempt and the California law which reportedly also obtained and obtains in 22 other states. The court is required to define new law to meet such new conditions as environmental protection litigation is very active over environmental regulations against air and water pollution. The energy crisis provides fresh ground for claims by utility companies and others that environmental regulations restrict economical energy production. One of the chief issues is raised over the application of the Clean Air Act of 1970. At issue is the question whether the Environmental Protection Agency has authority to preserve the quality of the air that is cleaner than the minimum requirement of the law against pollution. The agency claims the authority to keep air quality that is already above standards from deteriorating as in rural areas that have less pollution than in industrial centers. Industries have claimed immunity from pollution regulation so long as they don't cause air quality to deteriorate. Below legal standards the Environmental Protection Agency has issued orders to states to protect areas of better than minimum required Pendennis from what they call a significant deterioration. Industry representatives challenging this have recently added the argument that such restrictions could cause the nation to lose its struggle for energy self-sufficiency as one brief put it. United States Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency on this and the Supreme Court agreed this week to hear such industry challenges to the regulations in its effort to set standards against pollution the agency finds itself in the middle between industry and the conservationists. It has issued standards for only two pollutants sulphur dioxide and particulate matter. These are most often associated with coal burning plants. Industries have sued against both standards from the other side the Sierra Club a national group of environmentalists has sued to require the agency to extend its requirements to other pollutants carbon monoxide hydrocarbons nitrogen oxide and petrochemical Oxygen's. The Supreme Court is going to hear the case for expanding the standards to cover these pollutants also. And the high court will also take up another angle on pollution. A Detroit demolition was charged with criminal violation of the Clean Air Act in failing to follow requirements for guarding against an asbestos particle pollution during the wrecking of buildings. The wrecking company responded by challenging the legality of the environmental rule. The lower courts have held that the defendant in an anti-pollution case has no right to make its defense an attack on the legality of the rules. Well this too has come to the Supreme Court for decision and it decided this week it will review it lines with his regular commentary on the news.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
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- Discussed is a Ppoposed constitutional amendment banning abortion where seven out of the required thirty-four states have called for a constitutional convention to ban abortion. Also discussed is the restoration and preservation of landmark churches for adaptive reuse in order to keep up with changing communities and values. The First Baptist Church of Cambridge is discussed in relation to this story as well as a Brooklines St. Marks Church. Next Martin Pearlman, director of a Baroque and Classical chamber orchestra. The orchestra is noteworthy because they play on original or copies of instruments used during these periods. Louis Lyons then comments on Supreme Court rulings about double jeopardy.
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Guest: Lyons, Louis
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- Chicago: “Pantechnicon,” 1977-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 21, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-6663z5xf.
- MLA: “Pantechnicon.” 1977-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 21, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-6663z5xf>.
- APA: Pantechnicon. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-6663z5xf